Maoists offer swap, no interlocutor for talks (Lead)March 21st, 2012 - 5:39 pm ICT by IANS
Bhubaneswar, March 21 (IANS) Uncertainty persisted Wednesday on the fate of the two Italians abducted by Maoists in Odisha, with talks likely to be delayed further as it was not clear who would represent the guerrillas, a senior official said.
There has been almost no progress on the matter though a rebel leader said they were ready to release one of the Italians if the state accepts two of their demands before the start of negotiations.
The caller, claiming to be Sunil, known as rebel leader Sabyasaachi Panda, urged the government to release five Maoists, including his wife Subhashree Panda, in exchange for an Italian.
In a telephonic message to select journalists here, he also demanded action against security personnel responsible for alleged staged shootouts and rapes in the state.
“Unless the rebels make it clear who will represent them, it is very difficult to start talks,” a senior official in the home department said. The government has not responded to the Maoists swap offer.
The rebels late Tuesday extended the deadline for the government to accept their demands to Wednesday evening. But the process suffered repeated setbacks over the choice of interlocutors.
The Maoists late Monday announced three names - senior rebel leader Narayan Sanyal, social activist Dandapani Mohanty and rights activist and lawyer Biswapriya Kanungo — to mediate on their behalf.
While Kanungo immediately said no, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday evening refused to accept Sanyal as he had been convicted for life in a criminal case.
Patnaik asked the rebels to suggest alternatives.
The Maoists then announced that human rights activist Prafulla Samontra and tribal expert B.D. Sharma. But Samontra refused to participate, saying he had no faith in the government.
Samontra, who has been agitating against displacements by industrial projects, said the government did trust him or his movement. “There is no meaning talking with the government,” he said.
The government said three senior officials - P.K. Jena, Santosh Sarangi and U.N. Behera - will represent it in the negotiation process.
Bosusco Paolo and Claudio Colangelo were abducted by Maoists March 14 from Kandhamal district. The government and the rebels said the hostages are safe and in good health.
The abductors have come up with 13 demands.
- Italian hostages: India positive amid deadlock (Roundup) - Mar 21, 2012
- Odisha abduction: Talks delayed again - Mar 21, 2012
- Hostage crisis: Maoists extend deadline, offer other mediators (Lead) - Mar 20, 2012
- Abduction crisis: Maoists name interlocutors, extends deadline (Roundup) - Mar 20, 2012
- Italian hostages: India hopes for positive outcome - Mar 21, 2012
- Abduction crisis deepens, interlocutor refuses to mediate - Mar 20, 2012
- Odisha begins dialogue to secure release of Italians - Mar 22, 2012
- Talks for release of Italians remain inconclusive (Lead) - Mar 22, 2012
- Maoists release one abducted Italian (Second Lead) - Mar 25, 2012
- Maoists reiterate demands to release Italian (Lead) - Apr 03, 2012
- Maoists release Italian hostage, MLA still missing (Second Lead) - Apr 12, 2012
- Italian hostage crisis: Interlocutors want presence of jailed Maoist leader - Mar 23, 2012
- Maoists set Thursday deadline for abducted Odisha legislator - Apr 03, 2012
- Odisha hostage crisis: CM holds meeting with top officials - Mar 25, 2012
- Hostage crisis: Odisha holds talks as MLA abducted (Second Lead) - Mar 24, 2012
Tags: abducted, chief minister, criminal case, displacements, guerrillas, industrial projects, interlocutor, italians, kanungo, maoists, mohanty, rapes, rebel leader, rights activist, security personnel, setbacks, shootouts, social activist, three names, wednesday evening